REVIEW PAPER
The impact of smoking in the home on the health outcomes of non-smoker occupants in the UK
Jeanette Kusel 1  
,   Beth Timm 1,   Ian Lockhart 2
 
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1
Costello Medical Consulting Ltd, St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge, UK
2
Pfizer Ltd, Walton Oaks, Surrey, UK
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Jeanette Kusel   

Costello Medical Consulting Ltd, St John’s Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge CB4 0WS, UK
Publication date: 2013-01-29
 
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2013;11(January):3
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Smoking in the home remains a key source of exposure to secondhand smoke for non-smokers, particularly since the UK public smoking ban in 2007. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify all UK evidence on the impact of secondhand smoke exposure in the home on health and behavioural outcomes in non-smoker occupants. MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library were searched to identify all relevant UK empirical studies from 2000 to June 2011. A qualitative overview of the evidence is presented. Exposure to secondhand smoke in UK homes was found to be associated with serious negative health effects in non-smokers, including significantly increased risk of meningococcal carriage (p < 0.001) and disease (p = 0.05) in children and adolescents, cognitive impairment (p < 0.001) in adults, a higher rate of medically attended accidents in children with smoking mothers (p < 0.01), and for non-smoking women, a significant decrease in infant birth weight (p = 0.007). Living in a smoking household significantly increased the risk of future regular smoking in children (p < 0.001). In conclusion, this systematic review has identified strong evidence of an association between secondhand smoke exposure in the home and several serious health conditions. This finding highlights the importance of educating current smokers on the consequences of non-smoker exposure to smoking in the home.
 
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